Protests greeted Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik outside his hotel in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on Friday.

The protests appeared a reaction to the resistance faced by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its failed attempt to hoist the national flag in Srinagar last month.

The protesters, under the banner of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, youth wing of the BJP, shouted slogans against Mr. Malik and demanded his immediate “eviction” from the town, where he had come with his family to offer ziyarat (prayers) at the mausoleum of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The protesters waved black flags at him and burnt his effigy.

Around noon, someone hurled footwear at Mr. Malik, who was standing in the balcony of the multi-storey building in the Dhan Mandi area, but it missed him.

Traffic blocked

The protesters also blocked traffic in the Delhi Gate area for two hours before the security forces were deployed.

Later, a delegation, led by the former MP Rasa Singh Rawat, and the former Minister and BJP MLA from Ajmer North, Vasudev Devnani, met District Collector Manju Rajpal to submit a memorandum demanding Mr. Malik's “ouster” from the town. They blamed the JKLF leader for not facilitating the hoisting of the tricolour in Srinagar.

“We asked the authorities to get this man out of this place before the rashtrabhakts [patriots] are forced to do something,” Mr. Devnani told mediapersons later.

But Muqadas, a Kadim (caretaker) at the dargah, said: “Nobody should be doing such things.” People from Kashmir visited the dargah in large numbers every winter to do ziyarat, he pointed out talking to The Hindu over telephone.

Sufi festival

In fact, Mr. Malik has been in the town for the past three days. The protesters got wind of his presence only now.

He also visited the ongoing International Sufi Rang Festival at the Mehfil-e-Sama Khana on the dargah premises.

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